BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul Livestream

There’s no denying that BTS have captured the hearts of millions of ARMY around the world.

I’m happy to report that BTS gained another fan after I tuned in to their BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul livestream. The K-pop group features seven superstars – Jungkook, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, RM, Jin and V – who all were incredibly eager to return to the stage and create a euphoric atmosphere for ARMY.

In March, BTS performed at Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea over the course of three dates. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Seoul, the capacity was restricted to 15, 000 masked, and silent, fans per night. No screaming or singing was allowed. It sounds like a dull event; however, the stadium shows were in high demand and naturally, sold out. Multiple livestream times (to cater to international time-zones) and multiple viewings were available to fans online, as well as one-night-only screenings in over 3000 cinemas around the world.

Fortunately, I was able to watch the livestream rebroadcast the following week.
(Biggest thank you to my amazing friend, and Lovers of Live follower, Jackie!)

The online stream experience was flawless – no connection issues, no loss of quality. English subtitles were available for fans, and the pre-show entertainment consisted of BTS music videos, sponsorships and even segments dedicated to raising awareness for climate change. The chat feature within the livestream enabled fans to engage with each other before, during and after the livestream, making us all feel united despite the distance. Another feature, which I’ve never witnessed in a livestream, was the “clapping” feature – a button which could be clicked and signified that as a fan, you were clapping along with the show. This button had over 11 million clicks by the end of the 3-hour event, only adding to the excitement of the experience.

Another factor that made the BTS livestream so different to others I’d witnessed during the pandemic, was the FULL stage production. With the event being held in a stadium, there was no holding back. The 20+ song set featured multiple costume changes, fireworks, pyro, confetti, state of the art screens, mesmerising lighting effects, a full band, and a troupe of dancers accompanying BTS. BTS themselves were on their finest form sounding as smooth as ever and dancing as sharp as ever.

The cinematography of the livestream was actually insane. It managed to capture the scale of the stage and stadium (including crowd shots), yet the stream felt intimate as viewers were treated to close-ups and selfie-angles of their favourite BTS members. Watching the livestream on my laptop gave me goose bumps, so I can’t even imagine how impressive it would have been to witness live within the stadium, or on a large cinema screen. The production level was next-level and very reminiscent of a movie.

In this sense, the BTS livestream reminded me of concert tour DVDS – only instead of them being filmed, edited, and distributed months after the event, livestreams are immediate.

Over the past five years, livestreams have become far more inclusive and authentic, creating experiences for fans that feel reminiscent of the culture experienced and concerts and festivals.

They’re also a great business move. The BTS online livestream ticket cost approx. $65 AUD, the cinema ticket approx. $40 AUD. That’s not including the 45, 000 tickets sold to fans who attended the concert physically in Olympic Stadium, Seoul. Via cinema ticket sales alone, BTS’ one-night-only broadcast raked in over $32 million at the Global Box Office!

With BTS proving that livestreams being screened in cinema entices fans to experience live music this way, the future of streaming is looking brighter than ever.

Over the next five years, I would not be surprised to see more BTS events being held in the same manner. I also believe other artists will follow suite.

In cinemas, fans are somewhat restricted by the seating arrangements – like a seated concert. For this reason, I also believe it would be incredible if during the next five years, such livestream events are held in live music venues – allowing space for a dancefloor and a screen to be broadcasting the livestream in question. This would only enhance the experience for fans, as crowds would mirror that of a concert, the sound system would be just as impressive and the livestream would be even more memorable and electric.

Venues, such as Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, Australia, regularly hold “On-Repeat” or themed club nights that see DJs playing specific genres or artists to a club-crowd that is eager to dance and see videos of their favourite artists being played on the stage screen. This is what inspired my prediction for future livestreams. If club nights like these are successful (and I’ve been to many, they’re so much fun) then I believe that the future of livestreams will become even more like concerts. Fans will have access to their favourite artists and bands, even when they’re performing live on a stage on the other side of the world – and the best part? They’ll be able to experience the livestream set surrounded by other fans, unified, excited, and ready to dance through every song streamed.

Livestreams have been the main tool utilised to satisfy the quench for live music throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many artists resorted to performing live from their home or an empty studio, feeling the absence of a crowd due to safety. BTS spoke of this experience on stage, repeatedly saying that they missed ARMY and were thankful to be performing to them in-person again, overcoming restrictions, because their absence made performances feel awkward and lonely. BTS said they felt like they’d returned home, and the meaning of this was not lost on viewers, as the experience felt historic.

It’s not only fans that are grateful for COVID-safe concerts, evidently artists are as well.

BTS proved to me they care about their fans, not just in terms of their music and performance value, but also their safety. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, and despite live music very much being back in action, there remains risk in contracting the virus at large scale events. All fans attending the outdoor, stadium concert in Seoul were required to wear masks, were repeatedly told not to scream, or sing, and instead, were given “clappers” to make as much noise as possible.

Although the livestream was dubbed with an audience screaming (much like the laugh tracks you hear in sitcoms), the sound of the clappers strangely felt just as thrilling as audience screams. It reminded you that BTS fans were in attendance and were excited. After experiencing the loss of live music, the absence of BTS on stage, the gratitude expressed and felt at concerts now is euphoric.

This format for a concert is noteworthy, as it proved that despite COVID-19 still being a concern, there are ways for live music events to go ahead in a COVID-safe manner. It’s almost reassuring in a way, knowing that if the next five years are turbulent due to the pandemic, live music can still exist in some form.

All you need are masks, clappers, and a crowd as passionate as BTS fans…oh and don’t forget the livestreams!

YEEHAW! STAGECOACH 2022 IS NOW LIVESTREAMING ON YOUTUBE

Feeling the post-festival blues after back-to-back Coachella weekends?

Well, giddy up, because country music lovers are being treated to livestreams from Stagecoach all weekend long!

Making history, the 2022 edition of California’s country music festival is the first to receive the livestream treatment – and I have a feeling it won’t be the last!

Over the next three days, YouTube will be streaming live sets from the likes of Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Orville Peck, Diplo and more.

To see these incredible artists perform in the desert, tune into the stream embedded below:

The description of the livestream video has the full line-up listed, as well as the set times for each performance.

Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.

COUCHELLA RETURNS – HOW TO JOIN THE ACTION FROM COACHELLA 2022 WEEKEND 2

Are you ready to experience Coachella all over again?

Weekend 2 has kicked off and to prove that Coachella 2022 is bigger and better than ever, YouTube has extra access to all the best performances and is treating fans to an extra weekend of livestreams!

And you know what? I guarantee you’ll have the best seat in the house…
That’s why I call it Couchella – enjoying all the action of Coachella, from the comfort of your couch!

While majority of the acts on the line up will be featured in “Coachella Curated” and “Bonus Sets” – highlights reels from Weekend 2 of the festival – there are plenty of full performances that will be livestreamed, including the main headliners, of course!

Over the course of the weekend you can catch entire Weekend 2 sets from Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Swedish House Mafia, Doja Cat, Anitta and plenty more acts performing on the biggest stages in the desert.

Coachella is streaming performances and highlights live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of multiple stages to float between. Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over. The set times for each performance can be found in the YouTube channel descriptions.

Channel 1 features the full sets from headliners, so if you’re desperate to see Harry, Billie, Doja Cat and The Weeknd + Swedish House Mafia, keep Channel 1 open!


Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.
Last weekend there was an approx. half hour delay.

Couchella 2022 – Day 3 of Coachella is calling, one last time

The final moments of a multi-day festival are always bittersweet. Part of you is exhausted, simply wanting a comfortable bed for a long night’s sleep, and yet another part of you never wants the euphoria from the experience to end.

If you’re not in the Palm Springs desert for Coachella 2022, you’re in luck, because you can get the best of both worlds and enjoy the final festival day from bed, or the couch…

And that’s why I call it Couchella – enjoying all the magic of Coachella, from the comfort of your couch!

In some ways Coachella has saved the best for last, with Day 3 promising to make history as Swedish House Mafia will be reuniting on stage with The Weeknd for a powerhouse conclusion to the festival. If that’s not enough to get you pumped, you’ll also be treated to incredible performances from Doja Cat, Finneas, Maggie Rogers, Kim Petras, Maneskin, Joji, Fred Again, Duke Dumont and Denzel Curry.

Coachella is streaming these performances and plenty more live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of 3 stages to float between. Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over, as well as the set times Coachella has released for the Sunday sets.

Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.
If you find yourself busy when your favourite act is performing, the YouTube channel also rebroadcasts the livestream.

Enjoy the final day of Coachella, and I hope Weekend One of this iconic music festival has been just as impressive for you, as it has been for me!

Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever get over Harry Styles performing with Shania Twain!




Couchella Continues – I’m ready for day two, are you?

How’s everyone feeling? Feet sore? Head pounding?

Despite my engagement with Coachella being from sunny, Australia and not the Californian desert, I have to admit that “Couchella” wasn’t all that accurately describing the experience yesterday. As always, we found ourselves dancing non-stop, especially to Louis the Child, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Harry Styles’ (AND SHANIA TWAIN!) Coachella sets.

And yet that’s the joy of livestreams, you can enjoy them on your laptop in bed, on your phone as go about your day, or like myself, you can broadcast the stream on a giant screen and make the event a party like no other!

Coachella 2022 sure is making up for the two years the world went without the iconic, Palm Springs music festival.
Day 1 saw enormous crowds flocking to stages to see the likes of Harry Styles (AND SHANIA TWAIN!) performing to hundreds of thousands in the desert…. and don’t even get me started on how many international fans would’ve been tuning in via livestream.

Now would probably be a good time for me to profess my undying love and gratitude for Coachella and YouTube, for making high quality livestreams available for everyone to enjoy the festival as if they were front row.

So, who’s ready for Day 2!?
I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be happier than ever by the time the sun sets…

We’re gearing up for more good times as Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Flume, Disclosure, Wallows, Conan Gray, BROCKHAMPTON, Koffee, girl in red, Rina Sawayama, Caroline Polachek and more take to the stage (and livestreams).

I wish I was able to catch Holly Humberstone and Arlo Parks’ sets, but Coachella unfortunately isn’t airing them.

Coachella is streaming performances live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of 3 stages to float between. Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over, as well as the set times Coachella has released for Saturdays sets.

Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.
Yesterday, there was an approx. half hour delay.

Client Liaison – A Night of Divine Intervention – Livestream

During the final weeks of lockdown in Sydney, “Divine Intervention” came in the form of Client Liaison and an electrifying global livestream event. Hosted on October 2nd, Client Liaison celebrated the release of their second studio album with a performance that COVID-19 couldn’t cancel. That’s the beauty of livestreams! The Australian pop duo, consisting of Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller, were joined by their band, and collaborated with the livestream platform Moment House.

The process was much like what I experienced when joining Halsey’s global livestream event. Moment House encourages fan interaction with the chat feature available during the countdown to the concert, as well as during the performance. One fan from the UK was excited the time difference enabled them to enjoy a “morning disco” while all the Aussies were tuning in from 7:30pm!

An additional feature I adored this time around was the merchandise shop, enabling ticketholders to buy Client Liaison merch bundles, all from the comfort of their own homes – and without a queue! It was a great way to further support the duo and make the experience feel akin to attending live music events.

Client Liaison performed a 50-minute set, “welcoming us to heaven” and utilising neon lighting to illuminate a stark-white set, and a truck that housed the duo and their band as they made their grand entrance. A heavenly, ethereal influence was evident during the livestream, as tall Greek-like pillars lined the performance space in what appeared to be a circular form. The “stage” setup – only a small box to give height amongst the band, was centred, complimenting the camera that intimately followed the band and regularly circled around the space.

The livestream took place within the first 48-hours of the new album being shared with the world, which added to the intimacy of the event. Hearing “Intervention” and “Strictly Business” performed live especially excited me, as I’d been listening to the new tracks in the lead up to the stream. Weaving in songs like “Elevator Up” and “Champagne Affection” also highlighted the duo’s strength in creating music that carries heart and soul, yet a fun energy, with the 80’s synth and dance beats flowing through each song in the set.

Client Liaison nail the line between sexy and soulful, especially evident when the saxophone comes out. The duo and their band weren’t afraid to dance, to move and even show off Monte’s outfit changes throughout the show. Fan favourite tracks “World of our Love” and “The Real Thing” were saved for the end of the set, with the livestream concluding after the band performed “House of Holy”.


The event was the perfect accompaniment to a Saturday night in lockdown, igniting joy and hope. At times, the livestream felt meditative, with Client Liaison leaning heavily into the “Divine Intervention” theme to accompany their aptly titled album. It provided the perfect amount of escapism and mindfulness, with lyrics like “let this be your remedy” and “with fire inside, in search of hope, remember this, you’re not alone” more relevant and comforting than ever.

At times, masked crew members were visible – a reminder that the world we know it, despite being a “World of our Love”, is navigating through a pandemic that has had a significant impact on the music industry. The livestream served as hope for the future – a future when we’re all dancing in a crowd as Client Liaison perform on a stage that is radiating love and light.

Livestreams may not be “The Real Thing”, but they sure as hell are the closest thing to a gig we can get at times, and they’re worth the ticket. Even as the world continues to open up, as live music makes a return, I highly recommend supporting your favourite artists and enjoying any livestream events they host. It’s always exciting to see their creativity shine on screen, and it’s unique to experience an intimacy, to performances, plus comfort, that you can only experience at home.

Setlist

1. Club Called Heaven
2. Elevator Up
3. Off White Limousine
4. Intervention
5. Champagne Affection
6. Strictly Business
7. Groove is in The Heart (cover)
8. World of our Love
9. The Real Thing
10. House of Holy



Halsey – ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ Livestream

To celebrate the release of Halsey’s fourth studio album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’, fans were treated to an incredible one night only, global performance experience. Halsey welcomed fans into their theatrical world of love and power, providing a mesmerising visual journey through some of the 13 songs featured on the new album.

The livestream event ran for approximately 45 minutes and was hosted seamlessly by Moment House. Ticket purchasing was simple, with users able to select between three different performance times based on their time zone. The website featured stunning graphics of Halsey, moody music and a countdown that created an air of excitement as the event was close to beginning.

Another wonderful feature was the chat, which allowed Halsey fans to engage before, during, and after the performance. Personally, I chose to watch the livestream in full-screen mode for the ultimate concert experience, however, the chat was constantly flooded with exciting reactions to Halsey’s performance.

The “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” livestream featured an 11-song setlist that incorporated multiple stage sets, costumes, and special effects.  The production was incredible, effectively adding depth and an electric atmosphere to the powerhouse performances. LED screens, neon strobing and a breath-taking set that looked straight out of a fairy tale were highlights.

You see that? Breath-taking.
The livestream flowed between both whimsical and haunting moments, between dark and light. Through it all it was beautiful and powerful.

The transitions between such different atmospheres were effective in keeping audiences on their toes, unsure as to what world they’d be transported into next. The styling of hair, costume and makeup also added depth to the atmosphere, with Halsey changing between fits that were reminiscent of medieval ages, but also welcoming of lacy bodysuits and lingerie.

Halsey filmed the event while pregnant, though you never would have guessed until the camera panned down to reveal the fact.

Their energy levels were high, particularly evident during the performances of “You asked for this”, “Nightmare” and “honey”, which saw the singer embracing the title of the song and covering themselves in the sweet condiment. Yep, you read that correctly. Halsey was covered in honey and looked gorgeous as ever.

“You should be sad” was stripped back in comparison to the western themed music video, with the singer laying down, dimly lit. Such contrast between the array of performances made the setlist feel even more engaging, much like a regular concert feels.

The singer sounded as strong and smooth ever, with their vocals leaving goose bumps as they performed “Darling” and a haunting reimaging of “Gasoline”. “I am not a woman, I’m a God” was also a standout, with Halsey demanding attention, and power, with ease.

The event felt intimate, with Halsey starring down the barrel of the camera multiple times, making the songs feel personal and the performance feel more inclusive than anticipated.

The trouble with livestreams is the disconnect that can arise, the awareness that you’re often alone and streaming a show from your home. However, Halsey and the incredible team that worked on this production mastered the art of creating high energy, tour quality performances that also felt engaging and intimate, like you were standing on stage with the singer during every moment.


What I believe was most special to see throughout the entirety of the livestream was the confidence and the authenticity radiating from Halsey. Each performance felt like a theatrical rendition of the album tracks fans have grown to love so dearly. It felt like Halsey gave her all to every inch of detail visible throughout the livestream and her physicality and voice during performances was as strong, yet raw, as ever.

In this crazy COVID world, the livestream felt like a snippet into the kind of Halsey tour we will hopefully all attend on the other side of the pandemic. You can guarantee you’ll see me front and centre, eager to see “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” brought to life once again.

SETLIST

  1. The Tradition
  2. Lilith
  3. Easier Than Lying
  4. You Should Be Sad
  5. Girl is a Gun
  6. Nightmare
  7. You Asked For This
  8. Darling
  9. Honey
  10. I am not a Woman, I’m a God
  11. Gasoline (Reimagined)

If you haven’t already heard “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” I highly recommend you give it a listen.
Halsey becomes more authentic with each release, and it truly is one of the standout albums of 2021.

Stream it here.

Spacey Jane bring Sunlight to The Enmore Theatre

The sun is finally rising after the live music blackout we experienced in 2020 due to COVID-19 and Spacey Jane have been at the forefront of the live music scene’s revival.

Off the back of releasing their debut album ‘Sunlight’ (which was released during the pandemic and still managed to score #2 on the ARIA charts), Spacey Jane embarked on a national tour of Australia, with 2021 dates in high demand across every state.

The Perth band managed to sell out a six-show run at The Enmore Theatre in Newtown – Sydney, Australia – with more fans being welcomed through the doors of the iconic venue as COVID restrictions continue to ease.

Fortunately, I scored tickets to the final night of their historic Enmore run, and it was a euphoric experience from beginning to end!

Spacey Jane are one of the most captivating bands I’ve seen perform live. The liveliness of Caleb Harper, Ashton Le Cornu, Peppa Lane and Kieran Lama is downright infectious. After opening the show with ‘Skin’ the band soared through their setlist and didn’t leave any corner of the stage untouched – jumping and high kicking their way through the 80-minute set.

Good Grief’ and ‘Weightless’ were standouts, garnering huge reactions from the audience before the energy levels increased tenfold as the Perth band teased an unreleased song, due to be released next month, before playing ‘Straightfaced’, ‘Head Cold’, and ‘Booster Seat’ back-to-back towards the conclusion of the set.


After chants of “ONE MORE SONG!” erupted amongst the fans, Spacey Jane returned to the stage to deliver, matching the electricity in the crowd with their own excitement to be on stage – or not on stage, since Caleb Harper and Ashton Le Cornu eagerly jumped into the front row to perform parts of the set!

Their encore consisted of ‘Thrills’ and ‘Good For You’, which concluded the show on a high and utilised every ounce of production value the stage had been equipped for.

The impressive production and lighting was complemented by the recent renovations the venue has received. During the COVID lockdowns of 2020 (and consequently, the live music blackout) the Enmore restored side-wing balconies as extra seating options for the audience. The refurbishment also included a makeover of the theatre’s roof – now featuring art deco designs and LED lighting that reportedly, can be synced with the stage production.

Photography: Natalie Hannan


Whilst this didn’t act as part of the band’s production on Wednesday evening, the atmosphere in the Enmore was electric

If you’ve missed the energy of the crowd, a Spacey Jane gig is the place you need to be. The fans that filled the Enmore were lively, albeit a little rowdy – with vape smoke filling the air and a loudly, proudly sung chorus of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ by Abba acting as the perfect pre-gig warm up. Their eagerness to sing every word as Spacey Jane performed their debut album was enough to induce goose bumps.

Spacey Jane are leaving an array of warmth and light in their path as they finally experience the full level of appreciation that their fans have for them. It had been a long time coming, seeing Space Jane perform live at The Enmore Theatre. A long time coming for myself, and fans, but also for the band themselves. COVID-19 outbreaks and associated restrictions saw concert dates being postponed regularly, before more bad luck struck the group as lead vocalist Caleb Harper lost his voice, forcing more tour dates to be rescheduled upon doctor’s orders.

It had been a long time coming…and it was well worth the wait.

Photography: Natalie Hannan


After COVID made the absence of live music the norm, walking into The Enmore Theatre felt like coming home. The iconic venue has seen the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan… and even Harry Styles (with Stevie Nicks in attendance!) take to the stage in front of a full house. The six-show run Spacey Jane booked at The Enmore is impressive, reminiscent of Gang of Youths’ roaring success with their own six-show run at the venue in 2018.

Caleb referred to this, revealing that when the band first arrived in Sydney from Perth, they roamed the streets of Newtown and saw the tour posters promoting Gang of Youths’ upcoming gigs at The Enmore. He said it was in that moment the band discovered the beauty of the venue and their desire to perform there in the future. And that they did!

There’s no doubt in my mind that Spacey Jane will return to The Enmore, or easily sell out even larger venues in Sydney during their next lap around the sun. After all, Spacey Jane encompass everything their debut album projects – sunlight. After a year without live music, without dancing…Spacey Jane brought the sun and chased away any dark clouds lingering post-COVID. They reminded everyone in that room, including myself, of all the dreams we are yet to achieve, all the fun still to be had.

I can’t wait to see them live again soon!

To see more from Lovers of Live, check out the most recent articles and live music content on Instagram!

Yours and Owls 2021

Music festivals are back baby!



Yours and Owls 2021 will go down in history, marking the return of music festivals on a scale that has not been seen in New South Wales, Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The two-day event which took place over April 17th and 18th, celebrated its temporary home in Thomas Dalton Park, Wollongong, hosting approx. 14, 000 music lovers in a COVID-safe manner.

What does a COVID-safe festival look like? A little like this.


Yours and Owls 2021 was classified as a seated event, ensuring the social distancing guidelines as imposed by the NSW Government could be adhered to. To further protect attendees, the festival was divided into four zones, a capacity of approx. 3500 people in each, with state-of-the-art staging constructed in the centre.

To ensure all attendees had prime views of the performances, two stages were utilised – the “Yours” stage and the “Owls” stage. Performances were staggered across both, alternating by the hour. It made me nostalgic for Big Day Out, which adhered to a similar setup, proving to be effective. What was unique about the Yours and Owls setup was the function of the stages. Each stage featured rotating mechanisms, ensuring every angle of the festival, and crowd, could be played to. This was necessary, given the layout of the zones.

Despite being classified as a seated event, attendees could roam their zones to enjoy the food vendors, bars, and local “Rad” stage.

Most importantly? Dancing was given the tick of approval from the NSW Government in the weeks leading up to the festival. This made the weekend incredibly fun…and chaotic. Unfortunately, (and somewhat understandably) being restricted to socially distanced rows of seats is not the ideal dancing layout for festivalgoers. Countless people packed into the aisles and front sections, creating mosh pits during performances and essentially, throwing all social distancing rules out the window.

These actions resulted in multiple sets being interrupted and effectively, cut short by as much as approx. 15 minutes, whilst organisers took to the stage telling everyone to return to the seats.

Saturday was particularly frustrating in this regard, with every set of the evening being interrupted for this reason. The crowd would patiently wait for others to find a seat, only to witness hundreds of people run right back to the front and flood the aisles as soon as the performances resumed.

People were not PEACH-y keen on this experience. If you know, you know.

With organisers announcing that the future of the festival could be in jeopardy if subject to more chaos, it was a relief to find that Sunday was far better controlled, and performances were not victim to such frustrating interruptions.

Performances from Cosmo’s Midnight, DMA’s, Lime Cordiale and Hayden James were standouts, with almost everyone in sight on their feet, or standing on their chairs, dancing, and singing their hearts out. Despite Winston Surfshirt and The Smith Street Band experiencing lengthy interruptions, their performances were also crowd favourites.

Tones and I naturally worked up a frenzy of dance monkeys as she performed her global smash hit of the same name and after teasing a surprise, treated the crowd to a beautiful firework display to close her set. What So Not and PNAU were the perfect closing acts for their respective nights, concluding the festival on a high.

Despite the COVID-safe layout of Yours and Owls and the chaos that followed such restrictions, the festival experience was still exciting and euphoric.

It was simultaneously a sigh of relief, and a breath of fresh air. Personally, it marked my return to live music. Experiencing the absence of concerts and festivals for 14 months, due to COVID-19, felt soul crushing. It also made me experience intense waves of gratitude throughout the entire duration of Yours and Owls. I have a feeling, judging based on the reception of the crowd, I was not the only one. It was a magical weekend, and a much-needed reminder of the power of live music.

Niall Horan – Live at The Royal Albert Hall

Getting your live music fix in 2020 can be a challenge. However, there are incredibly innovative ways that artists and bands are reaching their fans to perform and fill the live music void in everyone’s hearts.

Last weekend, on November 8th 2020, I experienced my first ticketed livestream event. I virtually attended Niall Horan’s ‘Live at The Royal Albert Hall’ concert and was in awe of the technology that went into creating the live music experience.
So how did it work?

The pre-recorded event ran much like a regular gig. Fans were treated to an exciting announcement, setting their alarms for the moments tickets went on sale. After purchasing tickets (which was a much less stressful experience then usual, we love unlimited capacity!) virtual tickets were emailed to fans, with instructions on how to access the exclusive concert stream. What made the event so inclusive and accessible was the option of four livestream times, catering to fans all around the world, ensuring a stream could easily work into their time zones. The stream reached over 150 countries! On the day of the event, we were emailed a private link to direct us to the stream. This is where the excitement truly began for me.

It was 8pm, reminiscent of the nights when I’d be packed in a crowd, waiting for a performance to start on stage. Waiting for the stream to begin created the same sense of anticipation and excitement. What would Niall include in the setlist!? How long would he perform for!? Would there be any surprises!? The unknowns were so refreshing.
And then the screen went black, as close to the lights going out in the venue as one can get virtually…and the concert began.

Niall performed for an hour, playing through a setlist of songs from his debut album ‘Flicker’ and his latest album ‘Heartbreak Weather’. The beauty of this was, due to Niall releasing ‘Heartbreak Weather’ just as the world began going into lockdown. Niall was unable to tour the album. I had tickets to his 2020 Australian tour and when it was cancelled, resigned myself to thinking I wouldn’t be hearing the new music anytime soon. This livestream proved me wrong.

Hearing my favourite songs from ‘Heartbreak Weather’ live refuelled my soul. There’s no other way I can say it. It felt normal, it felt right, and it made me so grateful. Something that felt so out of reach was suddenly unfolding in front of my eyes. I danced, I cried, I sang. There was even a moment during ‘Slow Hands’ when Niall didn’t sing one line of the chorus, and out of habit, I sang the lyrics as every fan would at a concert when the artist holds the microphone out to the crowd to hear them sing the lyrics back to them. It was cheeky, given the livestream nature, but so, so normal. As I wrote yesterday, live music is healing and let me tell you, I felt healed.

Niall also treated fans to a surprise guest, Ashe, who joined the former One Direction member on stage to perform their collaboration, ‘Moral of the Story’. The surprise was reminder of the new COVID world we live in, as the pair described the extreme lengths they went to when getting the LA performer to London, including a two week quarantine.

The footage of Niall and his band performing was complimented by stunning shots of The Royal Albert Hall, which helped set the mood for the evening and often, made it feel like you were actually in the venue. Personally, I also found myself feeling privileged to see such a beautiful, historic venue on display without an audience. As you can see in the videos above, the production was beautiful, lighting up the room in time with the songs being performed and creating a memorable viewing experience.

Seeing Niall Horan perform virtually was everything my live music loving soul needed. Other artists including Kylie Minogue and Billie Eillish have streamed concerts of the same format with just as much success, proving there’s not only a market for the events, but also a need. However, it isn’t just fans that need these concerts. it’s the crews.

One of the most touching aspects of Niall Horan ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’ was that all proceeds from ticket sales were being donated to his personal touring crew and the #weneedcrew relief fund. Niall passionately spoke of the cause, reminding fans that crew members were struggling in these COVID times, left to find supermarket jobs or other jobs of a casual nature due to the live music industry coming to a standstill. Niall wanted to ensure crews weren’t being left behind. Knowing I was supporting such an incredible cause made the live music experience even more fulfilling.

If you have the chance to witness live music in any capacity in 2020, take it. Whether it be a COVID safe event (if you’re in one of the lucky countries!) or a virtual livestream event, live music is healing. Live music is escapism and it’s needed more than ever.

If you love One Direction, check out my blog post featuring Harry Styles.